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Old 03.04.2015, 11:50
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Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

Hi everyone,

I worked at an office where they had mostly recent graduates work 14-16 hours a day on average including weekends and some weeks up to 120 hours a week. There were people working there for 3 months that had gotten 1 day of. All of this for 2500CHF / month (gross). Throughout my time there our boss made daily threats to fire people and not pay them if he wasn't satisfied with the work we did. But recently he took it one step further. He flat out refused to pay us the salary that was agreed on in a contract we signed at the start if we wanted to continue working there. Most of us quit then and there, but some people are there on an internship and have to complete it otherwise they cannot start school again the next year. He knows this and takes advantages of it. They can't leave and they're too scared to do anything about it.

I no longer work there but I want to speak up for future employees and students. Who do I go to, and where do I take it from here?
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Old 03.04.2015, 14:10
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

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Hi everyone,

I worked at an office where they had mostly recent graduates work 14-16 hours a day on average including weekends and some weeks up to 120 hours a week. There were people working there for 3 months that had gotten 1 day of. All of this for 2500CHF / month (gross). Throughout my time there our boss made daily threats to fire people and not pay them if he wasn't satisfied with the work we did. But recently he took it one step further. He flat out refused to pay us the salary that was agreed on in a contract we signed at the start if we wanted to continue working there. Most of us quit then and there, but some people are there on an internship and have to complete it otherwise they cannot start school again the next year. He knows this and takes advantages of it. They can't leave and they're too scared to do anything about it.

I no longer work there but I want to speak up for future employees and students. Who do I go to, and where do I take it from here?
You go to a lawyer with the contract.
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Old 03.04.2015, 14:14
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

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You go to a lawyer with the contract.
or to Unia for some advice
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Old 03.04.2015, 14:18
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

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You go to a lawyer with the contract.
Yes of course. But besides that, is there a government agency I could talk to? Because theres so much malpractice going on in that office it's not even funny. At one point he was going to set up a second office abroad hiring people without declaring anything to the government.
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Old 03.04.2015, 23:03
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

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Yes of course. But besides that, is there a government agency I could talk to? Because theres so much malpractice going on in that office it's not even funny. At one point he was going to set up a second office abroad hiring people without declaring anything to the government.
Why don't you deal with what actually concerns you directly for now rather than for a number of things he supposedly planned to do, but in fact didn't do (yet).

Take your contract, go to a lawyer, make sure you get what you're entitled to - the rest will likely come out anyway.
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Old 03.04.2015, 23:05
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

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or to Unia for some advice
Indeed, got to UNIA the workers union - explain what has been happening and they will advise and perhaps take him on.
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Old 03.04.2015, 23:16
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

Take your contract to the city court house and complain there. Every Canton has a different approach, but you can get free advice and a free tribunal hearing, in front of a trained adjudicator, and at a second level, in front of a judge. At the third level you will be charged a fee by the court.

BUT, if you have been fully paid, there isn't much you can do, especially after the event is there?
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Old 04.04.2015, 10:22
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

Yes, contact your workers union.

You may also want to inform the government of your Kanton, it may be called Amt für Arbeit or Wirtschaftsamt, depending on the Kanton. What you describe sounds very much illegal as there are limits to how much people may be required to work per week.
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Old 04.04.2015, 11:30
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

The issue Sbrinz is that the employer is now refusing to pay the same miserly salary to those workers who want to stay on. However, this is not illegal as such, as only Neuchâtel has a minimum wage. If the old contract has expired then he can change the conditions.

Working hours and holidays are clearly regulated though- and working those hours totally illegal. So yes, go to Unia. It would be better if one of the current workers whose salary is being tampered with comes with you- as the issue is no longer directly related to you.

Problem is people are so desperate to get a job here that they are prepared to work very long hours for a low salary and in poor conditions- and even sign contract accepting those conditions (as you did). And dodgy employers just say 'don't like it, 1000 on the waiting list if you want to go...' and he is actually right, sadly. But they need to be dealt with, and people to have the courage to expose them. So good on you- go to Unia on Tuesday. And tell us how you get on.
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Old 04.04.2015, 14:13
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Re: Who do I go to about contract breach, illegal practice?

OPs story reminds me of this one
https://www.ktipp.ch/artikel/d/allez...en-noch-deals/

What OP is looking for is the Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit, and particularly the Arbeitsinspektorat. I think the workers unions will also inform the Arbeitsinspektorat once they've gathered enough data. Actually, gathering data first sounds much better to me as being contacted by the Arbeitsinspektorat will automatically warn the employer.

Amt für Wirtschaft und Arbeit (AWA)
Arbeitsbedingungen (Arbeitsinspektorat)
Neumühlequai 10
Postfach
8090 Zürich

Telefon 043 259 91 00
Fax 043 259 91 01
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